A Life Devoted to Naval Service

On July 26, 1988 the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet issued a Decree reinstating Vice Admiral Nikolai Gerasimovich Kuznetsov in his former rank-Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union. This showed that the Soviet people paid due tribute to his services to the Homeland. His talent of naval commander and organiser vividly manifested itself during the Great Patriotic War, when he effected guidance of operations on the seas and foresaw the development of the navy in the early postwar period. Despite this, his career was not characterised by success alone. The admiral experienced a few dramatic turns in life. He passed through dreadful ordeals, such as trial by a "court of honour" under Stalin, and Khrushchev's voluntarism. As a result he was forced into early retirement.

At the age of 15 Nikolai Gerasimovich Kuznetsov took part in the Revolution: in 1919 he served as a volunteer in the Northern Dvina Naval Flotilla. In 1924, as a member of a naval unit he attended the funeral ceremony of Vladimir 1. Lenin. That same year he joined the Communist Party.

During a period of 12 years (out of over 36 in the Navy) he occupied top posts in the Service. From April 28, 1939 to March 21, 1946 he was People's Commissar (Minister) of the Navy, from March 21, 1946 to February 19, 1947-Deputy Minister of the USSR Armed Forces and Commander-in-Chief of the Naval Forces, from July 20, 1951 to March 16, 1953-Minister of the Navy of the USSR, and from March 16, 1953 to December 8, 1955-First Deputy Minister of Defence of the USSR and Commander-in-Chief of the Naval Forces.

Nikolai G. Kuznetsov was appointed People's Commissar of the Navy before he turned 35 and was retired at the age of 51 in the prime of physical health, mental and spiritual ability. (N. G. Kuznetsov was born on July 24, 1904, and not in 1902 as officially stated in his service record. In 1919 he added two years to his age to be admitted to service in the Northern Dvina Naval Flotilla.)

Nikolai Gerasimovich said his rapid promotion was due to the mess in personnel policies arising from the unpredictable consequences of the unsteady period of 1937-1938. Perhaps, it was really so. Though there were officers senior to Nikolai Kuznetsov in age and position, his appointment to the post of People's Commissar was not, apparently, accidental. He was highly efficient and had a strong personality. These qualities distinguished him among the commanders of the younger generation. He had a good education, he was a man of broad vision and of excellent organisational ability. He not only saw the new, but was able to implement the new developments in practice. In addition, he enjoyed respect in the Navy.

Nikolai Kuznetsov completed the M. V. Frunze Naval School (1926) and Naval College (1932), and was noted for his extensive knowledge.

Here is an excerpt from Nikolai Kuznetsov's appraisal report: "He is mastering the curriculum without difficulty. He is resolute and self-possessed. Speaks briefly and competently, he is well versed in the language of command. He ably sets forth his ideas in a few words in writing. He paid undue attention to the study of two foreign languages to the detriment of all the other subjects. But now he has rectified his error."

Yes, indeed N. G. Kuznetsov paid too much attention to the study of foreign languages. At Naval School and at Naval College he mastered German and French, Then he learnt Spanish and after retirement he gained command of English to translate into the Russian language several books by English and American authors.

Upon completion of Naval School Nikolai Gerasimovich Kuznetsov served in the cruiser Chervona Ukraina First as watch officer and then as First lieutenant. This enabled him to obtain sound knowledge of the latest ship's equipment (for that period). The drills, exercises and naval manoeuvres made him proficient in weapon employment by surface ships in independent action and joint operations. It was precisely then that he acquired the qualities essential for a commander of any rank. He learnt from his own experience that a department or ship could be turned into an efficient Fighting unit only through painstaking effort.

Service in the Chervona Ukraina extended N. G. Kuznetsov's field of view. It helped him see beyond the ship's needs and get an idea of the general problems. At the time his cruiser was the first new big unit of the Black Sea Fleet. She was, therefore, frequently visited by V. M. Orlov, the fleet commander, G. S. Okunev, member of the Military Council, officers of the fleet staff, the Naval Staff and R. A. Mukievich,

Chief of the Naval Forces. In the wardroom they would touch upon matters that were beyond the field of a young watch officer, such as the role of the fleet within the framework of the country's Armed Forces. Should it be a coastal or ocean-going force? What ships-submarines or surface units-were more preferable? What role would the air arm play in naval warfare?

In those days these and other problems gave rise to heated discussions. Different, often opposite, views were advanced. A person who was not initiated in questions of military development and grand strategy found it difficult to orient himself in such matters.

When N. G. Kuznetsov completed the operations department of Naval College, problems bearing on the development of the navy and operational-tactical employment of naval forces were no longer of an abstract character to him.

Upon graduation from Naval College Nikolai Gerasimovich was offered the option of a staff job or commanding officer oF a ship. But he believed (and rightly so) that it would be unwise and, perhaps, dangerous For the Future to "skip" the job of executive officer.

He was, therefore, appointed executive officer of the cruiser Krasny Kavkaz. One year later she became one of the best ships of the Black Sea Fleet, and Nikolai Gerasimovich earned early promotion.

In the beginning of 1934 Kuznetsov became commanding officer of the cruiser Chervona Ukraina.

His cardinal ethical principle in service was humanity in relations with his subordinates. He was opposed to reprimanding, fault-finding and "iron hand" practices, because they inhibited willpower and initiative. It was this, perhaps, that determined the attitude oF the officers towards him as a model commanding officer. He aptly combined authority with military and human ethics. This policy enabled him as commanding officer to mould the crew into an efficient monolithic team, create a comradely atmosphere in the ship, form in the officers and men a conscientious attitude towards duty and, finally, secure outstanding achievements in combat training.

Later he formulated his concept of command duty in the following terms:

"Though we may be holding different appointments, all of us-admirals, officers and seamen-are members of the same Soviet society and, therefore, share common interests. This should be the guiding principle of every thought and act of the commanding officer. Sometimes circumstances Force the commanding officer to act severely and to speak sharply. But even then his words and acts should be free from arrogance and indifference towards the men, because such behaviour is unpardonable."

Nikolai G. Kuznetsov was associated with the appearance in our naval usage of the expression "for the first broadside". Once, while the Chervona Ukraina (N. G. Kuznetsov was then the commanding officer) was conducting firing practice, she hit the target with the first broadside she fired. Ivan K. Kozhanov, the fleet commander, was then aboard the ship. Expressing his admiration he sent a signal to the whole fleet beginning with the words: "This is the first time I have witnessed...". Initially, the expression "for the first broadside" was a tactical term which meant hitting the target with the first few rounds fired. But in summer 1939, when N. G. Kuznetsov was already the People's Commissar of the Navy, it denoted a movement for a high level of combat readiness in the context of the tense military-political situation in Europe that was being aggravated by Nazi Germany.

N. G. Kuznetsov first saw what fascism was really like in Spain, where he was naval attache and chief naval advisor from September 5, 1936 to August 15, 1937.

The time he spent in Spain gave him ample food for thought about the essence of modem naval warfare, its forms and methods. When he returned home, he thought a lot about the causes of failures of the republican fleet. He arrived at the conclusion that success could be assured only if the naval forces met modern warfare requirements. The rebel fleet was able to take over the initiative because Germany and Italy provided it with new warships. At the same time the republican fleet was mainly made up of obsolescent ships. The air arm began to play a far greater role in naval operations. He realised that the air arm should form an organic component of the fleet and that it should be placed under the fleet commander. Its combat training should be concentrated on the fulfilment of missions at sea. The air defence of naval forces at the bases and at sea was inadequate because there were only antiaircraft guns but no air cover. Owing to the high mobility and striking power of the air force it could launch a surprise attack, particularly at the beginning of the war. Such an attack could affect the entire course of the war. Effective control of naval forces was a decisive factor in achievement of success.

The experience N.G. Kuznetsov acquired in Spain proved to be useful when he returned home.

He was appointed deputy commander and then commander of the Pacific Fleet. Soon he became deputy People's Commissar and one month later People's Commissar of the Navy. These appointments followed in quick succession from August 1937 to April 1939.

When Kuznetsov took over the post of People's Commissar of the Navy (the Commissariat having been formed in December 1937) his office was in its shakedown period. The Commissariat was created in pursuit of an ambitious 10-year naval construction programme approved in 1936. A big ocean-going fleet was to be built. Initially the Naval Staff departments could not ensure effective control of the naval forces either in independent action or joint operations. Therefore, the new People's Commissar had to pay serious attention to the reorganisation of the Naval Staff and to the redistribution of the functions between the departments. He had to devise methods and forms of co-operation between the People's Commissariat of the Navy and that of Defence to ensure effective operational-strategic co-operation with the other fighting services.

During the two prewar years the People's Commissar of the Navy made a sizable contribution to the development of his fighting service. He heightened its readiness for combat and did a lot for the accomplishment of the naval programme. The combat capability of the surface ships and submarines, fleet air arm and coastal defence force increased. The bases were expanded. The combat control facilities were improved. The level of operational and combat readiness was raised. These questions were resolved in complex. In August 1939, N. G. Kuznetsov submitted to the government a revised plan of new construction which took into account the strength of the fleets of the potential enemies both in the West and in the East. The tonnage of fighting ships was to be increased to three million tons. It was intended to build 18 battleships, 16 heavy cruisers, 32 light cruisers, 198 flotilla leaders and destroyers and 433 submarines. In addition, the Northern and Pacific Fleets were to receive one aircraft carrier each.

As the danger of war heightened Kuznetsov displayed purposeful effort and independence in increasing degree. This was a distinguishing feature of his style of work. In an emergency, he would take personal decisions on major operational-strategic matters assuming full responsibility for them. This was by no means a manifestation of an ambitious departmental approach. He did not exceed his powers or ignore the requirements of subordination to higher authorities. On the contrary, this showed that he was not afraid of taking independent decisions in situations requiring immediate action. This was evidence of his ability to think as a statesman, of his daring, resolve and high sense of responsibility when he had to deal with matters bearing on the country's defence.

Nikolai Gerasimovich Kuznetsov was especially concerned about the defence of naval bases. He maintained that it was to be a perimeter defence both from the land and the sea. It should provide reliable cover for ships against enemy air attacks. In addition, all the manpower and means should be placed under a single commander. However, he was able to implement this principle only in the Hanko Peninsula. With the consent of B. M. Shaposhnikov, Chief of General Staff, the 8th Separate Infantry Brigade and engineer units of the land forces were placed under operational control of the naval base commander. It was this that assured the successful prolonged defence of the Hanko Peninsula in the early period of the war.

Nikolai Kuznetsov's ideas about perimeter defence of naval bases under unified command were implemented in practice in the course of the war. They assumed the form of an operational formation known as the defence area. This form ensured coordinated effort and stable co-operation between the Fighting arms both of the Army and Navy.

Another exceptional (I would say, historic) achievement of Nikolai Gerasimovich was the three-grade operational readiness system he introduced in 1939. He deserved special credit for this. This system enabled the command within limited time, i. e. in a few hours, to prepare all the naval units and formations for repelling a surprise attack and for deployment of forces for initially planned operations. Depending on the situation in the theatre of operations not only the People's Commissar of the Navy, but also the military councils of the fleets (flotilla commanders) could change the operational readiness of their forces. In this case they were obliged to report immediately to the People's Commissar of the Navy. The fact that the fleet commands had the right to establish the operational readiness played a decisive role in the preparation of the forces in the last days of peace for beating off the surprise attack.

In the search for new developments in naval warfare N. G. Kuznetsov took advantage of the available experience. He said: "It is essential to keep abreast of the entire experience of the war not merely to acquire knowledge or promote research but to establish the enemy's potential means and methods of warfare and to Find effective antidotes."

In 1940 he instructed special teams to study and sum up the experience of the Soviet-Finnish War and of the First year of the Second World War. They carefully analysed the independent and joint operations on the seas and oceans. The results were examined by naval command conferences. These studies were a contribution to research in the development of naval strategy. The researchers drew the following conclusions from the analysis: the element of surprise and launching of a preemptive attack became a cardinal principle of warfare; the success of an operation directly depends on effective co-operation of forces and assurance of superiority in the direction of the main attack; air supremacy became a key factor in the achievement of supremacy on the sea; landing and anti-landing operations became widely used forms of naval warfare; coordinated action by forces in joint missions mainly depends on the knowledge by each man of his role and place in an operation, the aim and time of movements at each stage thereof; submarines could most effectively be employed against enemy shipping in tactical and operational co-operation with surface ships and the air force.

Employment of the element of surprise and rapid development of operations in the early period of the Second World War made it necessary to take a closer look at the combat efficiency of the naval forces and to make a more critical appraisal of its level. On December 29, 1940 Nikolai Kuznetsov issued an order which made a fundamental appraisal of the Navy's readiness for combat and the condition of combat training. It stated that the efficiency of control of forces did not fully meet the requirements of combat and conduct of operations. The commands and staffs had not developed adequate methods for the preparation of operations. The means of reconnaissance and intelligence were being employed without due coordination in pursuit of a definite purpose. The use of intelligence obtained by the staffs was unsatisfactory. The intelligence data were passed on to the formations and units with considerable delays. Gunnery training was conducted on target ranges and the results were appraised perfunctorily. The structure of antiaircraft defence and combat training of its units did not guarantee against surprise attacks.

These were serious shortcomings. But they were due not only to the rapid growth of the Navy during the prewar period and the lack of experience of young command personnel. He maintained that training would be effective only if it was purposeful. To this end it was necessary to orient it on actions against a definite potential enemy. But here a paradoxical situation had taken shape. Though Nazi Germany's aggressive intentions against the USSR were becoming increasingly obvious, it was not safe even to mention the potential enemy. Senior officers were compelled to make allusions. At a conference of top naval commanders in December 1940 somebody asked N. G. Kuznetsov which country should be regarded as the potential enemy. In his reply he said:

"I cannot undertake to name him directly, but, as a rule, out of two enemies the most probable one is the closest neighbour. I believe we should be guided by this assumption."

Everybody knew who the "closest neighbour" was: Nazi Germany. It became the USSR's neighbour with the seizure of Poland.

The fact that N. G. Kuznetsov rightly foresaw the probable development of the military-political situation in Europe enabled him to establish the priorities in raising the Navy's combat efficiency and purposefully to put them into effect.

In November 1940, a Provisional Manual on Naval Operations was put out. In February 1941, the People's Commissar of the Navy issued an order to expand the main bodies of the fleets. On agreement with the People's Commissariat of Defence he signed a directive ordering the fleets to produce plans of actions in the event of war against the alliance of states headed by Nazi Germany. On March 3, he instructed the fleet commanders to open fire without warning at aircraft intruding into Soviet air space. However, on March 23, J. V. Stalin reprimanded him for what he described as "provocative actions". Kuznetsov was forced to cancel the order and issue a new one:

"1. Fire shall not be opened. 2. The command shall send fighters to force the sighted aircraft to land."

In May 1941, the missions of the fleets and flotillas were concretised in keeping with the plan for the defence of the Soviet state frontier. Work on the mobilisation plan was being completed. The intelligence and control services were activised.

N. G. Kuznetsov took firm measures against a surprise attack. To this end he heightened the operational readiness of the fleets and flotillas. On June 18-19, 1941, he introduced readiness for action, condition II. And late in the night of June 21 he issued an order to switch over to condition 1. By 04:25 hours on June 22 the fleets reported on the execution of this order. As a result, on the first day of the war, the Nazi air attacks against naval bases were ineffective.

The initiative and resolve of the People's Commissar of the Navy in the last hours of peace showed that he was a mature statesman and competent military leader. He made a correct appraisal of the military-political situation and took timely measures to beat off the aggressor's first attacks.

However, it should be mentioned that the development of the Navy before the war was not free from essential shortcomings. The errors negatively affected the war on the seas. The role of heavy ships was overestimated. The number of minesweepers, antisubmarine ships, surface minelayers and other types of ships that were needed for combat support was inadequate. The Navy had no specially built landing ships or craft. Eighty seven point five per cent of the aircraft in the fleet air arm were obsolescent. The distribution of ships among the fleets was not rational. For instance, the Baltic Fleet had nearly five times as many submarines as the Northern Fleet. The Navy had no influence-controlled mines or means to combat them. The methods of co-operation between the naval and land forces, including fire support, were not adequately developed. Of course, many of these weaknesses stemmed from causes that were beyond the control of the People's Commissar of the Navy. But the office of the People's Commissar made him responsible for everything that concerned the Navy.

As People's Commissar of the Navy N. G. Kuznetsov covered a wide range of operational-strategic and administrative questions. However, when he had to solve them, particularly in the case of joint operations, he ran into tremendous difficulties. Though he was People's Commissar of the Navy, he was not Commander-in-Chief of the Naval Forces or member of GHQ, Supreme Command (The People's Commissar of the Navy became Commander-in-Chief of the Naval Forces on March 31, 1944 and a member of GHQ, Supreme Command. on February 17.1945.). He was, therefore, unable to effect direct control of the fleets and flotillas, because in the beginning of the war they were operationally subordinated to the maritime fronts (groups of armies) and armies. That was why before April 1944 he acted mainly as coordinator and organiser of employment of naval forces. Although his powers in the guidance of naval forces were rather limited, he was not a passive executor of instructions coming from GHQ, Supreme Command. He was always abreast of the situation on the theatres of operations. The People's Commissar invariably controlled the preparations for and execution of naval operations. Proceeding from experience gained in the war he devised new forms and methods for the employment of naval forces in independent and joint operations. He repeatedly visited the fleets to render aid on the spot.

In analysing the operations of the fleets and flotillas in pursuit of plans drawn up before the war Kuznetsov arrived at the conclusion that their aims no longer met the situation. They did not ensure concentration of the main effort on aid to the maritime flanks of the battlefronts. It should be mentioned that in the early period of the war, when the fleets were under the operational control of the maritime fronts and armies, guidance of the fleets suffered from numerous shortcomings. The point is that the command of big army formations was not experienced in the employment of naval forces or the latter's combat capabilities. The staffs of the fronts (armies) had no competent naval specialists who could effectively plan and organise co-operation of naval and land forces.

Living up to the principle that organisation is the key to victory Nikolai Kuznetsov did his utmost to rule out misunderstanding in control of combat operations.

When the fleets were under the operational control of the maritime fronts (armies), the functions of the various command echelons were not strictly defined. Sometimes this placed the fleet commanders in an extremely difficult position and threatened the forces with heavy losses. In such cases N. G. Kuznetsov would handle the situation. Thus, in August 1941, the commander of the North-Western Sector was unwilling to permit the fleet commander to prepare the naval forces for the evacuation of Tallin and subsequent movement to Kronstadt. The sector commander regarded it as a tremendous responsibility. Having secured the consent of GHQ, Supreme Command, Nikolai Gerasimovich personally issued the pertinent orders to the fleet commander. He acted in similar fashion when F. S. Oktyabrski, Commander of the Black Sea Fleet, requested permission to withdraw from Sevastopol. Being unable to contact J. V. Stalin he issued the order and reported the situation to GHQ, Supreme Command, on the following day.

In N. G. Kuznetsov's case organisation of Army-Navy cooperation and coordination in joint operations were not limited to issue of recommendations to the front commands and instructions to the fleet commands. During the war he visited the fleets and front (group of armies) staffs about 20 times to assist in the preparations for and conduct of operations by maritime fronts and fleets. Thus, in 1941, he contributed to the defence of Leningrad, in 1943-to the execution of the Novorossiisk and Kerch-Eltigen amphibious landings, in 1944-to the success of the Vyborg and Petsamo-Kirkenes offensive operations and in 1945-to the operations against Japan.

Early in 1942, GHQ, Supreme Command charged Kuznetsov with a mission of paramount importance-escort of Allied convoys in the Soviet Northern Fleet's operational zone, and protection of transport vessels and escort ships in Soviet harbours. He did a lot to assure the success of this mission. He demanded that the command of the Northern Fleet should make maximum use of its forces, redeploy its submarines, increase the air cover and antisubmarine protection. He also contributed to co-operation of the Northern Fleet with the Allied escort forces. These measures helped cut down the losses in shipping from 72 vessels in 1942 to only 17 in 1943-1945. It should be mentioned that most of the transport vessels were sunk by the enemy outside the Soviet Northern Fleet's operational zone.

In developing naval strategy N. G. Kuznetsov emphasised the need for manoeuvre in the employment of various forces, for closer tactical and operational co-operation, concentration of manpower and weapons in the direction of the main effort and assurance of surprise. He paid special attention to all-round support of operations and effective organisation with respect to place, time, aims and missions. He pointed to the importance of centralised command in operations with rational allotment of functions among all the elements of the control bodies. It was vital, he said, not to inhibit independent action, initiative and creative approach of the lower command echelons.

In the final order on the Navy's role in the war the Supreme Commander-in-Chief wrote:

"During the four years of the war the Soviet sailors added new pages to the record of Russian naval glory. The Navy has lived up to its duty to the Soviet Homeland."

N. G. Kuznetsov, People's Commissar of the Navy and Commander-in-Chief of the Naval Forces, deserves considerable credit for this too.

After the war Nikolai Gerasimovich did a lot to rebuild and further develop the Navy. He maintained that to increase the Navy's combat capabilities it was necessary to build a balanced fleet, to equip it with new weapon systems based on the latest achievements in basic research, such as cruise and ballistic missiles, electronics, automatic devices and atomic power.

Before retirement N. G. Kuznetsov saw the First achievements of the scientific-technological revolution assume the form of naval hardware he had helped develop.

The postwar 10-year naval programme the government approved on November 27, 1945 attracted severe criticism. It was impracticable because the existing shipbuilding industries could not cope with it. The construction of heavy cruisers was unjustified, because they were incapable of doing what they were expected to do in time of war. It was also unsound to build a large number of destroyers that were not equipped with dual-purpose guns, and submarines to outdated designs. N. G. Kuznetsov admitted that he was partly to blame for these faults. But it would be fair to say that in those days the People's Commissar of the Navy did not exercise enough influence in such a vital matter of national importance as the development of the navy. He gave his consent to built a small number of ships to designs that had not been updated in order to breathe life into the shipbuilding industry, but he was strongly opposed to the construction of heavy cruisers. He pressed for the building of landing ships and craft and aircraft carriers which had played such a big role in naval warfare.

N. G. Kuznetsov paid special attention to the qualitative composition of the naval forces. He maintained that it was necessary to conduct research, to develop weapon systems on the basis of contests and to give the industries scientifically sound operational-tactical and technological assignments. He set forth this view in a letter to N. A. Voznesenski, Chairman of the State Planning Commission, in August 1946. In particular he pointed out that absence of competition in ship design resulted in repeated modernisation which incurred unjustified expenditure and imposed a strain on the shipbuilding industries. In addition, such a policy decreased the strength of the naval forces. Some of N. Kuznetsov's proposals on the size and qualitative composition of shipbuilding design bureaux, restoration of the Navy's research and design facilities (eliminated in 1938) were later realised. This played a positive role in the construction of the USSR's ocean-going fleet.

But N. G. Kuznetsov was not able to implement all of his ideas on the construction of a nuclear-powered missile ocean going fleet which was to play the role of the USSR's naval shield. In December 1955, after the loss of the battleship Novorossiisk in the harbour of Sevastopol Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union Nikolai Gerasimovich Kuznetsov was removed from the post of First deputy Minister of Defence of the USSR and Commander-in-Chief of the Naval Forces. In February 1956, he was demoted to the rank of vice-admiral and retired.

The explosion that sank the Novorossiisk brought to light many faults in the harbour service, antimine defence, damage control training and discipline in the Black Sea Fleet. Between the commanding officer of a ship and the commander-in-chief there are many intermediate echelons of command. But the commander-in-chief is at the very top. This means that, if there are serious shortcomings in the Fighting service the commander-in-chief bears part of the responsibility. That was why N. G. Kuznetsov himself considered his removal quite logical. But many of the charges were of a voluntarist character. They offended his honour and sense of personal dignity. He could not be reconciled with this. He repeatedly appealed to the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet, Nikita S. Khrushchev, Leonid 1. Brezhnev, former Ministers of Defence Marshals of the Soviet Union Georgi K. Zhukov and Andrei A. Grechko to make a fair reappraisal of the charges brought against him and the punishment administered on him. But his appeals remained unanswered. It was only 14 years after he died that Nikolai Gerasimovich Kuznetsov was reinstated in his former rank. The Soviet government duly recognised the services of N. G. Kuznetsov. He was awarded with many orders and medals. In September 1945, the title of Hero of the Soviet Union was conferred on him.

Even after retirement he continued to serve the Navy. He put out excellent memoirs which, in slightly abridged form, appear in this book. He wrote many articles and essays which were published in a number of journals. In these works he gave an insight into the development of the Soviet Navy, its life and problems, and the role it played in the rout of the aggressor. He gave a profound analysis of various aspects of the Navy's history. His views on some of the theoretical and practical problems of the Navy are largely valid today.

V. N. Chernavin, Admiral of the Fleet

From book: Admiral Kuznetsov. Memoirs of Wartime Minister of the Navy
© Progress Pablishers 1990